As far as records accurately describe, we know absolutely nothing of Yim Wing Chun or the inheritors of her skills, that is until we come across the one man in the history of the system whose existence can be verified and who is known to have taught the system that
is said to be named after Ng Mui's student. His name was Leung Jan, a herbal doctor who lived in the southern Chinese city of Fatsaan during the early 19th century. As a fighter he was renowned for his unrivalled skill and was reputed to have never been beaten.
He taught only a handful of students, the best known of whom were his two sons, Leung Chun and Leung Bik, and Chan Wa Sun who was also known as "Money-changer Wa".
Leung Jan himself was said to have learnt from two people, Wong Wa Bo and Leung Yee Dai, both of whom were said to have been experts at different aspects of Wing Chun
and at least one of whom (Leung Yee Dai) was a travelling performer with a Chinese opera troupe which moved from place to place by boat.

Then there is the issue of the name of the system. Was, as the legend suggests, the system named after the first and only student of the nun Ng Mui, or is there another explanation? According to most accounts of the original Shaolin Temple, one of the halls in the grounds of the Temple was known as the Evergreen Hall, the first character being identical in sound, though differing in form and meaning, to that which makes up the first part of Yim Wing Chun's name, “time".

While it is highly unlikely that we will ever know for certain what the true origins of Wing Chun are, it is interesting to consider these possibilities. The one factor which is irrefutable is that the Wing Chun method is one of the world's most evolved combat systems. It is structurally sound and stands up to the most stringent scientific scrutiny, not to mention its very impressive record on the streets of Hong Kong and elsewhere. What is most important is that the man who brought Wing Chun to the public, the late Grandmaster Yip Man, should be remembered for the role he played in developing the art and helping to make Wing Chun's reputation as a combat skill not to be taken lightly.

 

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